We’ve just scored some hands-on time with HP’s latest and greatest smartphone and needless to say, we have some quick preliminary thoughts and feedback to share. We’re not going to beat around the bush here… this is the webOS smartphone we’ve been waiting for. When Palm debuted webOS on the Palm Pre, we were blown away. The OS was truly a breath of fresh air in a smartphone industry that was starting to look very flat in terms of appealing options. As much as we loved the OS is as disappointed we were in the hardware, however. The build was bad, the keypad was entirely too small and the display was miles behind the competition. The Pixi hardly helped Palm’s case, of course, and the Pre 2 is a phone we would have just as soon seen HP scrap. The Pre 3 is webOS’s saving grace in the near-term smartphone space. The build and feel are as close to perfect as we can hope for, the 3.6-inch 480 x 800-pixel display is sharp and stunning, and the keyboard is finally — finally — spread out and usable. WebOS also screams on this puppy thanks to Qualcomm’s next-generation 1.4GHz Snapdragon processor, offering a fluid UX that rivals even the slickest of smartphones currently on the market. Definitely check out our HP Pre 3 gallery below and don’t forget to view our hands-on impressions of the HP Veer and HP TouchPad as well!
While the HP TouchPad might have been the star of the show in terms of new product announcements, the HP Veer is a sleek little smartphone that shouldn’t be overlooked. And when we say little, we mean liiiiiiittle. This bite-sized bugger is minuscule and yet is somehow manages to pack the punch of a full-sized smartphone. The UI is very responsive and the display is nice and vibrant. The build is remarkably solid as well, and the feel of the phone is quite impressive compared to the rickety Palm Pre that first introduced the world to webOS. With all that having been said, the Veer is suffering from a serious case of Pixi-itis. By that, we mean that it’s a wonderfully capable phone that can definitely hold its own in terms of performance, but it’s just too small for our liking. The keypad was impossible for us to use comfortably and the 2.6-inch screen is borderline ridiculous. After seeing webOS stretched out in all of its glory on the TouchPad, the Veer looked just plain sad. For the dainty among us, however, the Veer could end up being a great option with the right price point. Those of us without tiny little digits will want to look elsewhere, however. Check out our hands-on gallery below and stay tuned for our impressions of the Pre 3, which are coming right up.
In case you haven’t heard, Hewlett-Packard announced its first webOS-powered tablet today. We spent a few minutes with the new Palm-powered pad at today’s event and we have to say, we’re impressed. Design-wise, the TouchPad is definitely not unique. Yeah, we’ll just go ahead and say it — it’s a plastic iPad. Inside, however, we can’t stress how amazing webOS is on a large-form device. The HP rep we chatted with wouldn’t let us handle the device personally, but it looks relatively solid and the contoured edges look very comfortable as well. The only real disappointment we have initially where hardware is concerned is the lack of a video-out — HP’s tablet competition is going to be gunning for the big screen and the TouchPad is completely sidelined with no HDMI port. Software is where this puppy shines, however. The Palm team’s Web-based mobile operating system may have been born on smartphones, but it’s all grown up on the TouchPad tablet. Though the software definitely isn’t final, the UI is was very fluid in the demo we were given —thanks in no small part to the dual-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon processor lurking within. Check out our hands-on photo gallery below and stay tuned for our thoughts on the Veer and Pre 3 smartphones.
This is it boys and girls — the event we’ve been anxiously awaiting ever since Hewlett-Packard announced its intention to acquire Palm, Inc. for $1.2 billion last April. $1.2 billion is a lot of scratch, and you can be sure that HP didn’t have the Pre 2 in mind when it took control of the struggling cell phone maker last year. But we’re reasonable, as we hope all webOS fans are, and we’re definitely willing to give HP a pass just this once… provided, of course, it has something special to show us at today’s event. Will HP answer the call and unveil some drool-worthy webOS-powered gear, or will its new efforts be lost amid the tsunami of tablets set to come crashing down on the market this year? Hit the break for our live blog of today’s “Think Beyond” event, which starts at 10:00AM PST / 1:00PM EST, and don’t forget to refresh the page for all the latest action! More →